EU Interventions in Africa — A Path towards Defense Cooperation

As their former colonial prospects, countries throughout both northern and sub-Saharan Africa have a delicate relationship with the European Union. Recently, emerging conflicts throughout Africa have had an almost immediate response and intervention during crises. This past week, various EU member states have sent troops to the Central African Republic for crisis management. This has allowed for greater cooperation and stabilizing defense policies for the EU. This cooperation has led to a united front at the member state level, but is this united front paralleled at the local level?

Many EU citizens look negatively upon interventions and aid to African countries. In order to change this perspective at the grassroots level, there needs to be a firm public diplomacy strategy implemented. As discussed in Nicholas Cull’s piece, “Listening for the Hoof Beats: Implications of the Rise of Soft Power and Public Diplomacy,” he expresses the importance of empowering both foreign and domestic publics through political reform and rapid development. It is necessary to emphasize this empowerment in order to strengthen credibility of the European Union’s foreign voice abroad. Additionally, this enhanced communication and exchange must be put into place in order to engage not only international actors, but EU nationals as well. 

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